April 10, 2023: Senator Sharif Street shared the following statement in response to the expulsion of two Tennessee Democratic state representatives, Justin Pearson and Justin Jones:
“For too long gun violence has been met with inaction by state lawmakers around the country, who have the authority to enact life-saving common sense gun reform.
The urgency and advocacy by three Democratic Tennessean legislators, in the aftermath of another mass shooting, was admirable. To be met with the expedient expulsion of two Black legislators – Justin Jones and Justin Pearson – and the failed expulsion of Gloria Johnson by a Republican majority is an absurd and dangerous departure from the democratic process. This action is equivalent to silencing voters who duly elected their representatives to act on their behalf.
The culture of inaction by government following the cycle of gun violence continues to compromise the safety of communities that live under the constant threat of violence. It is a betrayal of the people, who, at minimum, expect government to keep communities safe. We stand in solidarity with the Tennessean representatives who continue to fight for safe communities and with the people who expect government to work for them.”